Robert College


The American Robert College of Istanbul (Turkish: İstanbul Özel Amerikan Robert Lisesi or Robert Kolej [ˈɾobæɾt koˈleʒ]), often abbreviated as Robert or RC, is a highly selective, independent, co-educational, private high school in Turkey. The school is situated in a 265-acre (107 ha) wooded campus on the European side of Istanbul in the Beşiktaş district, with the historic Arnavutköy neighborhood to the east and the upscale Ulus neighborhood to the west. Founded in 1863, Robert College is the oldest continuously operating American school outside the United States.[a][1][2]

Robert College
Robert Kolej
Kuruçeşme Cad. No. 87

TypeIndependent, day & boarding
Established1863; 161 years ago (1863)
FounderChristopher Robert and Cyrus Hamlin
CEEB code696220
HeadmasterAdam Oliver & Nilhan Çetinyamaç
GradesPrep, 9–12
190 boarding
276 on scholarship
LanguageEnglish, Turkish
Campus size265 acres (107 ha)
Campus typeUrban
HousesGould Hall, Mitchell Hall, Woods Hall, Sage Hall, Bingham Hall, Feyyaz Berker Hall, Suna Kıraç Hall, Nejat Eczacıbaşı Hall
Student Union/AssociationRobert College Student Council
Team nameBobcats
NewspaperBosphorus Chronicle

Robert College is consistently ranked as the top private high school in Turkey.[3][4][5][6] The school has a long list of notable alumni, including scientists, entrepreneurs, politicians, journalists, artists, three Turkish prime ministers, four Bulgarian prime ministers,[1][7] multiple members of the Turkish cabinet, Nobel laureate Orhan Pamuk and philanthropist Osman Kavala. Robert College is a member of the G30 Schools group, and is accredited by the New York State Association of Independent Schools.


Picture of the college printed in Ambassador Morgenthau's Story (1918)
Anderson Hall, Boğaziçi University

In 1863, Robert College was founded in Bebek by Christopher Robert, a wealthy American philanthropist, and Cyrus Hamlin, a missionary devoted to education. Six years after its foundation, with the permission (Ottoman Turkish: irade) of the Ottoman Sultan, the first campus (currently housing Boğaziçi University) was built in Bebek at the ridge of the Rumeli Castle. At the time, the school was very close to a Bektashi tekke, whose leaders maintained an excellent relationship with the Congregational and Presbyterian founders of Robert College, according to Friedrich Schrader, a German lecturer at Robert College during the 1890s.[8] Hamlin, who became the first president of Robert College, was preoccupied with the construction of the campus such that George Washburn acted as the de facto head of the college from 1871 onwards. In 1877, he was officially named president by the trustees. During his tenure between 1877 and 1903, Washburn "gradually assembled a faculty of distinguished scholars who firmly established the college's academic reputation."[9][10]

Christopher Robert died in 1878, leaving a significant portion of his wealth to the college.[11] In that same year, a college catalog was compiled, providing general information and an outline of the courses of study.[9] Defining the aims of the college, the catalog stated: "The object of the College is to give to its students, without distinction of race or religion, a thorough educational equal in all respects to that obtained at a first-class American college and based upon the same general principles."[1]

After Washburn, Robert College was administrated by Caleb Gates (1903–1932). During his presidency, the student body of the school underwent a major demographic transition; whereas the student body previously consisted of Bulgarian, Romanian, and other Christian minorities in the Ottoman Empire, the Young Turks' liberalization of policies directed towards foreign schools and an increasing demand amongst Turks for a western education resulted in considerable numbers of Turkish students enrolling.[9] Founded at the time of the Ottoman Empire as an institution of higher learning serving the Christian minorities of the Empire as well as foreigners living in Constantinople, the school adopted a strictly secular educational model in accordance with the republican principles of Turkey in 1923. Robert College, at various points of its existence, had junior high school, high school, and university sections under the names Robert Academy, Robert Yüksek and American College for Girls. Since 1971, the current-day Robert College has functioned only as a "high school"[12] (more comparable to the French lycée in academic rigor) on its Arnavutköy campus (formerly the campus of American College for Girls), yet it retains the title of "College". The Bebek campus and academic staff were turned over to the Republic of Turkey for use as a public university named Boğaziçi University, the renamed continuation of Robert College's university section.

Major events

  • 1863, September 16: Robert College opened with 31 students at Bebek Seminary School.
  • 1922: President Caleb Gates and Hüseyin Pektaş (the first Muslim graduate and then vice-president of the college) attended the Conference of Lausanne representing foreign educational institutions in the Ottoman Empire.[citation needed]
  • 1932: With Paul Monroe, the joint presidency system was adopted by Robert College (RC) and the American College for Girls (ACG). Robert Academy was the preparatory school for Robert College, which had a reputable engineering school. Instruction was bilingual, in Turkish and English.
  • 1957: Robert College was granted permission to become an institution of higher learning by the Republic of Turkey; Robert College Yüksek provided university-level instruction and is the precursor of the current Boğaziçi University. Robert Academy remained on the Bebek campus as a private high school.
  • 1971: Robert College Yüksek officially closed on 18 May and was renamed Boğaziçi University. The merger of the American College for Girls and Robert Academy as a co-educational private institution with junior high and high schools, on the Arnavutköy campus was officially confirmed in September 1971. Robert College's Bebek campus was donated to the Republic of Turkey. Boğaziçi University was established as a public university on this land.
  • 1998: With the adoption of a law calling for eight years of uninterrupted primary education in Turkey (junior high school would now be a part of primary education), the school stopped accepting students to its junior high school section.
  • 2004: The last junior high school students graduated and the school's junior high school section was officially closed. Now, Robert College has Prep, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th grades, and accepts students who have finished compulsory primary education of eight years.[13]

List of presidents and heads

Heads of Robert College
Head Years of service
Cyrus Hamlin 1863–1877
George Washburn 1877–1903
Caleb Frank Gates 1903–1932
Paul Monroe 1932–1935
Walter Livingston Wright 1935–1943
Harold Lorain Scott (acting president) 1943–1944
Floyd Henson Black 1944–1955
Duncan Smith Ballantine 1955–1961
Harold Locke Hazen (acting president) 1961
Patrick Murphy Malin 1962–1964
James L. Brainerd (acting president) 1965
Dwight James Simpson 1965–1967
Howard P. Hall (acting president) 1967–1968
John Scott Everton 1968–1971
John Clay Chalfant 1971–1977
James Richard Maggart 1977–1981
Elizabeth Dabanovitch (acting head) 1981–1982
Alan Donn Kesselheim 1982–1984
Margaret A. Johnson 1984–1988
Harry A. Dawe 1988–1992
Benjamin D. Williams III (interim head) 1992–1993
Christopher Wadsworth 1993–2001
Livingston Merchant 2001–2005
John Russell Chandler 2005–2012
Anthony Jones 2012–2015
Charles H. Skipper 2015–2019
Adam Oliver 2019–present


Robert College Gould Hall

As of 1999, as per Turkish Ministry of National Education (MEB) regulations, Turkish is the instructional language of history and social studies classes.[14]



Robert College accepts 180 to 220 students each year, who have scored within the top 0.2 percentile in a nationwide examination, which every Turkish student must take in order to study in a high school (secondary education) after they complete their primary education. The school has around 1000 students each academic year.

In the 1998–1999 academic year there were 942 students, with 99% having Turkish nationality.[15]

Circa 1904, the school had about 300 students, with boarding space for about 200. Lucy Mary Jane Garnett wrote in the 1904 work Turkish Life in Town and Country that at that time most of the students were Christian as the college had a requirement for students to attend Christian Sunday church services and chapel services, and "it would be unsafe for any professed Moslem to become either a resident or a daily student" since the Ottoman government would take a dim view of a Muslim going to chapel. In 1904, Greek students made up the majority and other students included significant numbers of Armenians and Bulgarians.[16]

Faculty and staff


The faculty have an average of 20 years of teaching experience and the majority have either Turkish or United States citizenship. The school currently has faculty who are 50% Turkish, and 48% native English speakers (including faculty from English-speaking countries other than the United States). Sixty percent of the full-time faculty hold master's degrees or higher.[17]

As of 1999 there were 102 teachers, with 45% being Turkish and 32% being American. Of the teachers, eight were part-time.[15] The school's guidance counselors, as of that year, were English-speaking Turkish citizens.[14]

As of 1999, as per Turkish Ministry of National Education regulations, the school employs only Turkish citizens to teach history and social studies classes.[14]

As of 1999, the school pays its foreign employees funds so that their children may attend Istanbul International Community School. If an employee chooses another school, Robert College will pay an equivalent amount.[18]

In 1904, the faculty included Americans, Turks, Armenians, Bulgarians, and Greeks.[16]



Robert College is a five-year high school, with the first year (Prep) being the English immersion year that prepares students for rigorous curriculum, which is mostly in English. English is the language of instruction used in Science, Mathematics, Literature, Physical Education, Art and Music courses. Turkish is the required language of instruction in social sciences and Turkish language/literature.

Robert College Plateau
A view of the Bosphorus from Robert College Plateau

Higher education


Robert College graduates traditionally continue their education in the United States or Turkey, though in recent years the number of students studying in Canada and the United Kingdom increased. Every year, approximately 50–60 percent of the graduating class choose to study abroad, while those wishing to study in Turkey get placed in a university based on their score on the Core Proficiency Test-Advanced Proficiency Test (TYT-AYT). In 2006, Robert College ranked first in all three sections of ÖSS, a formerly-administered Student Selection and Placement System test, among private high schools in Turkey, with 76 out of 132 students taking the exam scoring in the top 0.3% (top 5000). Out of the 104 students who chose to study in Turkey, 29 were admitted to Boğaziçi University, which is the overall highest ranking school in Turkey. 56 students chose to continue their education abroad and 36% of these students are attending Ivy League colleges.[19] In 2011, Robert College placed 123 graduates in Turkish universities, 21 of them, 40%, in Boğaziçi University. Another 53 planned to study abroad, 8 (15%) in the Ivy League. Of the 79 students who had applied abroad, 75 were offered admission.[20]

Co-curricular activities


Robert College has about 100 student activity clubs as of 2015. Robert College introduced basketball to the Ottoman Empire in 1907. The first Student Council in Ottoman Empire was also formed in 1908 in Robert College.[13]

Student Council


Student Council is formed of a group of annually elected student governors and a faculty advisor. The elected body is proportional with class size. As well as class representatives, the president, the vice president, the secretary and the treasurer are elected after a period of campaigning. Student Council is responsible for facilitating communications between students, faculty and administration, as well as organizing social activities and fundraising for clubs. Student Council also organizes the largest and oldest high school festival, Fine Arts Festival, in Turkey. The President of the Student Council, representing the student body, makes a speech during the opening, closing, and graduation ceremonies.


RC Reviews March 2005 Issue


  • Bosphorus Chronicle: The school's newspaper published quarterly (first published in 1959).
  • Record: The Yearbook.
  • Kaleidoscope: The English literature magazine.


  • Köprü (The Bridge): The school's Turkish newspaper, published bimonthly (first published in January 2009).
  • Martı (Seagull): Turkish literature journal.
  • Oda (Room): Turkish literature journal publishing poems, stories and photos submitted by students.
  • Tarih (History): The History Club's annual publication.
  • Sinek (Fly): The Film Review Club's annual publication.
The Robert College Basketball Team on their way to the championship in the Traditional FMV Işık Schools Tournament.

Conferences and festivals


Fine Arts Festival (FAF)


The Fine Arts Festival is the largest secondary school festival in Turkey. It has been held annually since 1982 by the Robert College Student Council. Each year, more than 2,000 people attend the festival, which is traditionally held in May. The festival is a big event in which many student groups can perform on stage. There are various art exhibitions and dance shows that also take place. Student Council members visit other high schools in Istanbul and advertise for this event. At the end of the festival, a well-known artist or band typically performs on stage. Most of the revenues used to fund this event are raised through food and ticket sales. Food vendors are usually selected by Student Council members and consist of restaurants close to Robert College such as "kumpir" sellers in Ortaköy. This promotes the tight-knit Robert College community spirit.[21]

Aerial view of Robert College Gould Hall

International Istanbul Youth Forum (IYF)


The International Istanbul Youth Forum is an annually held conference at Robert College. It has been organized every year since 2006 with participants from numerous European countries. Each year, more than 150 participants from all over Europe gather at the RC campus. The conference is organized by the Robert College European Youth Club.

Ethics Forum


Robert College Ethical Values Club organizes an ethics case study contest at national level among high school students, following their forum. The results are announced at the Ethics Conference near the end of the year. Both events attract more than twenty public and private schools from around Turkey.[22]

Robert College International Model United Nations (RCIMUN)


Robert College International Model United Nations (RCIMUN) is a THIMUN-affiliated Model United Nations conference organized annually by the Robert College Model United Nations Club (RCMUN) since 2006. The conference includes four General Assembly committees, those being the Political, Human Rights, Environment, and Disarmament Committees, a Special Conference committee, the Security Council of UN, an Advisory Panel, ECOSOC, Specialized Agencies (RCSA), the equivalent of two intertwined historical committees which simulate a single historical event, a separate Historical Security Council, as well as a simulation of the International Criminal Court. Approximately 750 students, of which about 42% were from international schools attended the 2012 conference.[23]

Istanbul Gençlik Forumu (IGF)


Istanbul Gençlik Forumu is a national conference where representatives from over 30 high schools from different regions come together to discuss issues regarding the future of Turkey. In 2008, the fifth IGF welcomed over 250 participants. Discussions about international affairs are held in Turkish and each committee is responsible for writing a resolution. Then, at the General Assembly, each resolution is discussed and voted on. It is also the National Selection Conference of EYP Turkey, which is also recognized by the international office of European Youth Parliament. The conference is held annually and is organized by the Robert College European Youth Club.

Turkish Theater Festival (TIFES)


Organized by the Robert College Theater Club, TIFES is one of the major theatrical events at high school level in Turkey. The festival takes place in Robert College campus during the first week of June. Numerous plays are put on stage during the week in Suna Kıraç Hall and famous actors, actresses and playwrights give talks on topics related to theatrical arts.[24]

Junior Achievement Robert College Conference (JARC)


Robert College Junior Achievement Club is hosting this event. About 300 Junior Achievement students from all over Turkey meet each other and share their experiences with others and entrepreneurs and artists related to the topics like Risk (2010), Alternative Careers (2009), Creating a Brand (2008).[citation needed]

Eurasian Schools Debating Championship (ESDC)


The Eurasian Schools Debating Championships (ESDC) is an annually organized, WSDC-style debating tournament, that welcomes high school students representing a wide range of countries. While being the only student-run, high school level debating organization, it has gained a reputation as one of the best WSDC-style tournaments worldwide. With the participation of experienced judges, numerous national teams and outstanding debaters across the globe, it happened to be among the most popular debating organizations. In 2021, the organization rocketed with over 400 debaters and 98 teams from 20 countries.



The 65-acre (260,000 m2) wooded campus overlooking the Bosphorus, originally designed by Charles H. Rutan of Shepley, Rutan and Coolidge,[25] is home to five neoclassical buildings as well as three brutalist ones, centennial trees and a rich fauna, among which the Bosphorus Beetle, an endemic species to this campus, could be counted.

Major buildings


Gould Hall


The oldest educational building on the campus, Gould Hall (/ɡld/) is a gift from Helen Gould Shepard, daughter of the famous 19th century Wall Street financier Jay Gould. She donated US$150,000 for the construction, which began in 1911 and was completed in 1914. The front and back entrances to the building lead to Marble Hall, named such due to the abundant usage of marble in its decor. Marble Hall acts as a lobby for the building, and also houses part of the school's archeological collection. The Faculty Parlor, formerly used as the teachers’ room, and the Conference Room, are both adjacent to and accessible from Marble Hall. Gould Hall also houses administrative offices, classrooms, the İbrahim Bodur library, the Heritage Room, and the RC Commons area,[b] as well as the Turkish Literature and Social Sciences Departments, and the English Department Heads office. The building, particularly with its large ionic columns, is the de facto symbol of the school. Ivies and wisteria plants surround the building's walls.[26] On its front entablature, the words "American College for Girls" and "Gould Hall" are visible. The cornerstone of the building, set on November 9, 1911, by then-United States Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire, William Woodville Rockhill, contains a time capsule. The inscription “AD MDCCCCXI”, denoting the year of the capsule's burial in Roman numerals, is displayed on the South Wing of the front façade.[27]

Bingham Hall
Mitchell Hall in summer, covered in ivy.

Mitchell Hall


Originally home to the school kitchens and dining room, the building was a gift from Miss Olivia E. Phelps Stokes, who donated US$100,000. A modest woman, she asked for the building to be named in memory of her friend, Sarah Lindlay Mitchell. Today, the building houses classrooms used primarily for mathematics lessons, the Math Department, the Sait Halman Computer Center, the teachers’ room, the audio-visual center, two Multimedia Rooms (MMRs), and a small English department office. The top floor, M400, is used for examinations, minor conferences, and weekly club sessions.

Woods Hall


Completed in 1914, the building was a partial gift from Mrs. Henry Woods of Boston, who donated US$58,000, with Helen Gould Shepard supplying the remaining US$25,000 required. It was used as a Science Building until 1990, and today is home to classrooms used primarily for English lessons, two English department offices, and two college counselling offices.

Sage Hall


A gift from Mrs. Margaret Olivia Sage, widow of Russell Sage, a famous 19th century financier and associate of Jay Gould, Sage Hall is one of the few buildings still used for its original purpose. A philanthropist, she donated US$100,000 for the building, built as a dormitory. Today, the building houses the girls' dormitories, infirmary, art studios and a darkroom.

Bingham Hall


Originally built as a medical school building, financed by William Bingham in memory of his mother, Mary Payne Bingham, the building housed the junior high school section from 1925 to 1992. Today, it is home to the boys' dormitories, as well as a secondary theater room, and business and administrative offices. A plaque commemorating the construction of the building, which reads “Mary Payne Bingham Hall, erected in honor of Mary Payne Bingham by her son William Bingham 2nd”, is visible above the front entrance.

Feyyaz Berker Hall


Feyyaz Berker Hall, colloquially referred to as "Feyyaz",[c] today houses the science labs and classrooms, as well as the Science Department. The building was completed in 1990, and named after its largest donor, leading Turkish businessman and Robert College trustee, Feyyaz Berker (Robert College Eng '46 alumnus). The front of the building has arched windows, which mimic the façade of Gould Hall. Contents of the Biology Museum, which has one of the rarest collections in Turkey, are scattered across the second and third floors of the building.

Suna Kıraç Hall


A state-of-the-art theater building completed in 1990, including a large stage, make-up rooms, modern sound and lighting system and seating for 512 people, was named after its largest donor Suna Kıraç (American College for Girls '60 alumnus), a leading Turkish businesswoman and Robert College Trustee. Its basement houses the music department and several music rooms.

Nejat Eczacıbaşı Hall


The modern school gymnasium was opened in 1990 and named after its largest donor, prominent Turkish bio-chemist and businessman Dr. Nejat Eczacıbaşı (Robert College '32 alumnus). Its basement houses the Multi-Purpose Room (MPR), P.E. department offices, and the Cep (Turkish for “Pocket”), a student lounge area.

İbrahim Bodur Library


When founded in 1863, Robert College had four students. A sum of $2,120 had been allocated to the library, and Harvard University had donated 200 volumes for the opening of the library. During the 1950s and '60s, the college had one of the largest collections in Turkey. (In 1957: 111,598 books and 214 periodicals; the American College for Girls Library 27,163 books and 108 periodicals, according to the Turkiye Kütüphaneleri Rehberi (Turkish Libraries Guide) published by the Turkish National Library that year. After the foundation of Boğaziçi University, the college donated most of its collections to the newly founded university. Today, Robert College has a print collection of approximately 40,000 resources in both Turkish and English. It also has an expanding collection of eBooks, eMagazines and databases that can be accessed both on and off campus. The library went through an extensive renovation in 2014 and occupies an area of 1034 square meters, with a seating capacity of 290 people on the second and third floors of Gould Hall.[28]

Other buildings and facilities

Aerial view of Robert College
  • The Rodney B. Wagner Memorial Maze
  • Murat Karamancı Student Center (MKSC)
  • Dave Phillips Field
  • Konak Terrace
  • Tennis courts
  • Basketball courts
  • Faculty housing (Barton House, White House, Blue House, Yalı, Guest House, and numerous other houses dispersed on campus)
  • Green Tower
  • The Bridge and Security
  • Forum
Students in the forum


Tuition and finances


Robert College's tuition fees, for the 2020–2021 academic year,[30] are:

Day Student Boarder (5 days) Boarder (7 days)
TRY 109,000 TRY 149,300 TRY 167,770
US$14,750 US$20,235 US$22,735

Tuition fees are adjusted each year according to the inflation rates in a limited range set by the Ministry of National Education (MEB).

Robert College has consistently ranked as the most expensive high school in Turkey by tuition.[31] According to school data, 26% of students received some form of financial aid for the 2019–2020 academic year.[32]

Robert College files its taxes in New York State through two separate 501(c)(3) tax-exempt non-profit organizations: the Trustees of Robert College of Istanbul, tax-exempt since December 1947, and the Robert College Foundation, tax-exempt since May 2000. The data is publicly available on ProPublica. As of Fiscal Year 2017, the two organizations reported a combined revenue of 28.7 million USD.[33][34]

Tuition fees and donations constitute a significant majority of the school's income. In 2019, income from tuition fees covered 55% of the school's expenses, with most of the remainder being supplied by donations. A majority of donors are alumni of the school, though financial institutions and corporations have donated as well.[35]





Müfide Ferid Tek, a Pan-Turkist author, wrote Pervaneler, a novel criticizing the foreign, anti-Turkish nature of the American College for Girls. Published in 1924, a year after the declaration of the Turkish Republic, the novel revolves around "Byzantium College" (Turkish: Bizans Kolej), a fictionalized account of the American College for Girls. The story includes Leman, a young Turkish Muslim woman attending Byzantium College. There, she befriends two Turkish girls, Nesime and Bahire. Nesime is the daughter of a famous Mevlevi Sheik, Amir Çelebi. Her education at Byzantium College alienates her from her Turkish and Muslim identities, leading her to convert to Protestantism to migrate to the United States. Bahire is a woman who "dresses like a man", rejects her gender roles, and is captivated by the western feminist movement. She also moves to the United States to attend feminist lectures. Leman, influenced by her friends, meets Jack Peterson, an American soldier in deployment, and escapes to the United States to marry him.[36] These three figures represent cautionary tales for what the author believes will happen to Turkish youth in non-national educational institutions.

In the novel, Byzantium College is depicted as the principal institution corrupting young Turkish women — both a literal and figurative enclave of the foreign powers who invaded, but failed to hold Istanbul. According to the novel, the "Greek" and "foreign" architecture of the school — possibly a reference to the Greek ionic columns of Gould Hall — provides those visiting its campus a sense of entering into a separate country. Throughout the book, the school is described thus: "truly, this was the capital city of an American-Armenian country... [it was] like a separate country within our motherland". Similar anti-Armenian sentiments dominate the novel: in the school's museum, artifacts by Armenian, Greek, Bulgarian, Serbian, and Russian peoples are displayed, whereas Turkish culture is denied.[37]

2014–2015 admittance scandal


In the 2014–2015 academic year, a student was admitted to Robert College with a lower high school entry exam score than was required. The admitted student was the twin sister of another student who had gained admission to Robert College with her exam score.[38] On 25 March 2015, Hürriyet reported that the student was admitted to Robert College with the instruction of the Ministry of National Education (MEB).[39] Responding to reports by the media of unfair conduct, the headmaster at the time, Anthony Jones, stated in a letter that "the numerous administrative objections made to [the MEB ruling] by our school have been denied, and we are by law obliged to abide by this ruling."[40]

It was later reported that the student in question could not attend lessons due to "a literal meat shield of students" blocking her, and that she dropped out shortly thereafter.[41]

Yeni Akit


A government-aligned Islamist newspaper and website, Yeni Akit has published three articles on Robert College since 2017. The first, entitled "Heresy in Robert College" (Turkish: "Robert Koleji'nde Sapkınlık") was an attack on the school's LGBTQ week. Authored by Faruk Arslan, the homophobic article characterized homosexuality as a "disease", with the subheading "the American Robert College joined the choir of heretics representing the disease of homosexuality as a normal human condition."[42]

In 2018, Faruk Arslan published another article, entitled "The Headscarf Hate of Robert College" ("Robert Koleji'nin Başörtü Düşmanlığı"), claiming that Islamic headscarfs were banned by the school dress code.[43] In reality, religious headscarfs are allowed in Robert College.

Another article in 2018 by the same author questioned the source of Robert College's funding. In "Where Did Robert College's 900 Trillion [Million] Come From, Where is it Going?" ("Robert Koleji'ne 900 Trilyon Nereden Geldi, Nereye Gidiyor?"), a conspiracy theory surrounding Robert College's finances is concocted. Arslan claims that the 137 million dollars that Robert College acquired within a 5-year span is a result of "the exploitation of Turkey's resources", and is being used for "US interests".[44] In reality, Robert College raises funds through tuition and voluntary donations by its alumni. A 501(c)(3) tax-exempt non-profit organization, Robert College files its taxes in New York, and its expenditures are publicly available.

Notable alumni


Since the Ottoman period, Robert College alumni have played a leading role in numerous fields including the arts, academia, science, engineering, business, civil society and government administration.[45] Garnett stated in her 1904 publication that "since its foundation forty years ago many of its graduates have attained to high positions in the Governments of the Balkan principalities, and otherwise distinguished themselves."[16] Three Robert College graduates were the representatives of their countries in the founding meeting of the United Nations held in San Francisco in March 1945: Nur al-Din Kahala for Syria, Hamiz Atif Kuyucak for Turkey and Dr. Shafaq for Iran.[46]

In 1990, three alumni, Nejat Eczacıbaşı, Suna Kıraç and Feyyaz Berker donated the necessary funds for the construction of the new buildings that are mentioned in the Buildings section. An annual giving campaign raises funds for the school, as costs cannot be met by tuition fees alone. The development office publishes the RC Quarterly, which reaches 10,000[47] Robert College alumni around the world online and by mail.

Bizimtepe, a cultural and recreational center next to the campus, is an affiliate of the Alumni Association.

Notable former faculty


See also



  1. ^ A similar title is also claimed by the American College of Sofia (ACS), founded in 1860. The ACS was founded in Plovdiv, moved to Samokov in 1871, and then to Sofia in 1926. The school was closed for a for a 50-year span between 1942 and 1992. In contrast, Robert College operated consistently from 1863 onwards, in two different campuses in Istanbul. Robert College is therefore the longest continuously operating American school outside the US, but the American College of Sofia is the oldest one.
  2. ^ Colloquially referred to as the canteen (Turkish: kantin).
  3. ^ Amongst Robert College students, "Feyyaz" is also used as a metonymy for natural science courses.


  1. ^ a b c "Robert College - VKV". Retrieved 2020-08-18.
  2. ^ "Columbia's Rare Book & Manuscript Library Acquires Robert College Archive | Columbia University Libraries". Retrieved 2020-08-19.
  3. ^ Acun, Fatma; Gürtunca, Evrim Şencan (2016). "Education at Robert College from Ottoman Empire to Turkish Republic". Tarih İncelemeleri Dergisi. 31: 1–34 – via Dergipark.
  4. ^ Yalınkılıç, Fercan (2013-04-12). "Robert Kolej'in 150 yıllık hikayesi". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2020-08-18.
  5. ^ "Robert Kolej 150. yılını kutluyor". Sabah (in Turkish). Retrieved 2020-08-18.
  6. ^ "Robert Kolej 150 yaşında". (in Turkish). Retrieved 2020-08-18.
  7. ^ Bourchier, James David (1911). "Bulgaria/Description" . In Chisholm, Hugh (ed.). Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 04 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. pp. 772–786: see page 779, lines six to eight. Education....Robert College .... provid[ed] a number of well-educated young men fitted for positions of responsibility.....
  8. ^ Schrader, Friedrich (November 1919). Robert College, Nord und Süd (in German). pp. 165–169.
  9. ^ a b c "Robert College records, 1858-2018". Retrieved 2020-08-19.
  10. ^ "George Washburn" (fee, via Fairfax County Public Library). Dictionary of American Biography. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons. 1936. GALE|BT2310001134. Retrieved 2012-02-26. Gale Biography In Context. (subscription required)
  11. ^ "Christopher Robert's Will" (PDF). The New York Times. 27 November 1878. Retrieved 22 January 2008.
  12. ^ "About Robert College". Archived from the original on 22 February 2012. Retrieved 7 February 2012.
  13. ^ a b "Chronology of Events". Archived from the original on 3 February 2007. Retrieved 8 February 2007.
  14. ^ a b c "New Faculty Recruitment Page". Robert College. 1999-01-29. Archived from the original on 1999-01-29. Retrieved 2019-06-02.
  15. ^ a b "FACT SHEET 1998–1999". Robert College. 1999-01-28. Archived from the original on 1999-01-28. Retrieved 2019-06-02.
  16. ^ a b c Garnett, Lucy Mary Jane. Turkish Life in Town and Country. G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1904. p. 204-205.
  17. ^ "The School and Students". Retrieved 8 January 2007.[permanent dead link]
  18. ^ "Summary of Faculty Compensation for Foreign Faculty During Academic Year 1999–2000". Robert College. 1999-04-23. Archived from the original on 1999-04-23. Retrieved 2019-06-02.
  19. ^ "RC'06 University Results". Archived from the original on 3 July 2007. Retrieved 23 March 2007.
  20. ^ "RC'11 University Results". Robert College. Archived from the original on 2012-02-15. Retrieved 2012-02-26.
  21. ^ "Fine Arts Festival-Güzel Sanatlar Festivali". Archived from the original on 2007-04-03. Retrieved 8 February 2007.
  22. ^ "RC Ethical Values Club". Retrieved 23 March 2007.
  23. ^ "Robert College International Model United Nations". Retrieved 23 February 2011.
  24. ^ "TIFES IV" (in Turkish). Archived from the original on 2007-10-15. Retrieved 23 March 2007.
  25. ^ Forbes, J. D. (1958) [Autumn, 1958]. "Shepley, Bulfinch, Richardson & Abbott, Architects; An Introduction". Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians. 17 (3): 30. doi:10.2307/987994. JSTOR 987994. Retrieved 2023-04-02.
  26. ^ "Robert College | RC Experience". Retrieved 2020-08-19.
  27. ^ Tatoğlu, Mehmet. "Robert College Heritage Investigations 6: A Walled-in Message from 109 Years Ago". Bosphorus Chronicle.
  28. ^ "About Robert College Library". Archived from the original on 29 December 2006. Retrieved 6 February 2007.
  29. ^ "Robert College, 1863–1971; Bosphorus University, 1971–Present" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 20 June 2007. Retrieved 6 February 2007.
  30. ^ Okul Ücretleri Tablosu, 2020-2021
  31. ^ "İşte Türkiye'nin en pahalı okulu" [Here is Turkey’s most expensive school]. (in Turkish). 15 June 2017. Retrieved 2020-08-21.
  32. ^ "Mali Yardım". 2016. Retrieved 25 November 2016.
  33. ^ ProPublica, Mike Tigas, Sisi Wei, Ken Schwencke, Brandon Roberts, Alec Glassford (9 May 2013). "Trustees Of Robert College Of Istanbul, Full Filing - Nonprofit Explorer". ProPublica. Retrieved 2020-08-19.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  34. ^ ProPublica, Mike Tigas, Sisi Wei, Ken Schwencke, Brandon Roberts, Alec Glassford (9 May 2013). "Robert College Foundation, Full Filing - Nonprofit Explorer". ProPublica. Retrieved 2020-08-19.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  35. ^ "Giving". Retrieved 2020-08-21.
  36. ^ Çetin, Nurullah (2018). "Müfide Ferit Tek'in Pervaneler Romanına Divan Edebiyatına ve İslam Kültürüne Ait Kavramların Simgeselliğinde bir Yaklaşım" [Approach to Müfide Ferit Tek's “Pervaneler” Novel, in the Symbolism of Concepts of Divan Literature and Islamic Culture]. Ankara Üniversitesi Dil ve Tarih-Coğrafya Fakültesi Türkoloji Dergisi. 22: 22–41. doi:10.1501/Trkol_0000000291. eISSN 2602-4934. ISSN 0255-2981 – via Dergipark.
  37. ^ Topaloğlu, Yüksel (Summer 2011). "Pervaneler Romanının Yapısı ve Anlamı Üzerine" [About the Framework of the Novel Pervaneler and its Meaning] (PDF). Turkish Studies. 6/3: 1211–1228 – via Acarindex.
  38. ^ Çamakçı, Nuran (2015-03-28). "Zorla okula yerleştirilenlerin durumu". (in Turkish). Retrieved 2020-08-19.
  39. ^ Eğitim, Hürriyet. "Robert Kolej'den 'tepeden öğrenci' açıklaması". (in Turkish). Retrieved 2020-08-19.
  40. ^ "225'inci öğrenci tartışma yarattı". (in Turkish). Retrieved 2020-08-19.
  41. ^ "Torpilli nakille gelen öğrenciyi Robertliler okula almadı". T24 (in Turkish). Retrieved 2020-08-19.
  42. ^ "Robert Koleji'nde sapkınlık - Yeni Akit". (in Turkish). Retrieved 2020-08-19.
  43. ^ "Robert Koleji'nin başörtü düşmanlığı - Yeni Akit". (in Turkish). Retrieved 2020-08-19.
  44. ^ "Robert Koleji'ne 900 trilyon nereden geldi, nereye gidiyor? - Yeni Akit". (in Turkish). Retrieved 2020-08-19.
  45. ^ "History of Robert College (Excerpt from Celebrating the Past 1863, Building the Future 1988)". 2006. Archived from the original on 3 July 2007. Retrieved 6 February 2007.
  46. ^ Ali Erken (2016). "The making of politics and trained intelligence in the Near East: Robert College of Istanbul". European Review of History. 23 (3): 562. doi:10.1080/13507486.2015.1131249. S2CID 147506101.
  47. ^ "RC Quarterly". Archived from the original on 15 June 2007. Retrieved 14 February 2007.
  48. ^ "University News", The Manchester Guardian, 22 December 1919, p. 4.
  49. ^ Pundeff, Marin (1989). "Stefan Panaretov and Bulgarian-American Relations". Bulgarian Historical Review. 17 (3): 18–41. ISSN 0204-8906. Archived from the original on May 4, 2004. [...] college president, Cyrus Hamlin, who retained him, upon graduation in 1871, as an aide to the instructor in the Bulgarian language, Petko V. Gorbanov. On Corbanov's resignation the following year, Panaretov took his place, receiving the rank of professor in 1875 and involving himself in the preparation of a grammar, the first and only part of which appeared in 1881, as well as an English-Bulgarian and Bulgarian-English dictionary, which remained unpublished.
  50. ^ "History | IICS Istanbul International Community School | About Us". IICS. 2018-04-06. Archived from the original on 2018-04-06. Retrieved 2020-01-28.

Books on Robert College

  • Ali Neyzi, Alma Mater and the Story of Robert College
  • Asya Orhon, Kolejlerin Koleji, Robert Kolej
  • Betty Tank, Pushing My Shadow
  • Caleb Frank Gates, Not To Me Only, Princeton, 1940.
  • Cyrus Hamlin, My Life and Times, Boston, 1893.
  • Cyrus Hamlin, Among the Turks
  • Eren Yanık, Akvaryum
  • Washburn, George (1909). Fifty Years in Constantinople and Recollections of Robert College (1 ed.). Boston & New York: Houghton Mufflin Company. Retrieved 3 April 2016. via Internet Archive
  • Hester Donaldson Jenkins, An Educational Ambassador to the Middle East
  • John Freely, History of Robert College, Istanbul, YKY, 2000.
  • Lynn Scipio, My Thirty Years in Turkey, New Hampshire, Ringde, 1955.
  • Mary Mills Patrick, A Bosphorus Adventure, London, 1934.
  • Mary Mills Patrick, Under Five Sultans
  • May Fincancı, The Story of Robert College Old and New
  • Moris Farhi, Young Turk
  • Orhan Türker, Mega Revma'dan Arnavutköy'e, Istanbul, 2005
  • Stevens Marcia & Malcolm, Against the Devil's Current: Life & Times of C.H.
  • Talat S. Halman, Aklın Yolu Bindir, Istanbul, 2003.
  • Ugur Ersoy, 1950–55 Erguvan Renkli Yıllar, Istanbul, 2004.
  • Finding aid to the Robert College papers at Columbia University Rare Book & Manuscript Library
  • Robert College
  • Robert College Alumni Association
  • Robert College Alumni Association of America
  • The Student Council
  • Fine Arts Festival
  • RC Quarterly Robert College Alumni Magazine
  • Robert College International Model United Nations Website
  • Robert College EYC Website
  • about Robert College
  • RC Quarterly
  • "History of Boğaziçi University". Boğaziçi University. Retrieved 2012-02-27.

41°04′01″N 29°02′05″E / 41.066944°N 29.034861°E / 41.066944; 29.034861